Released: 3rd February 2012
Don’t let the title put you off. First things first, I cannot stress enough how much of a mistake was made by dubbing this film with such a ‘what it says on the tin’ title. By doing so they pigeon-holed the film up there with the likes of Snakes on a Plane, and we all know how that one ended up.
So with potential audiences (myself included) disregarding the film upon hearing the title, who knows how much better this film could have done with a more alluring title. Man on a Ledge offers so much more than the self-explanatory ‘suicidal New York man throwing himself from a building’ scenario.
With intricate plot twists, about 20 minutes in it becomes apparent that all is not as it appears on the surface with jumper Nick Cassidy (Worthington) when he asks specifically to see police officer Lydia Mercer (Banks), a woman who he has never met before.
Nick Cassidy is a man obsessed with proving his innocence for a crime he claims he did not commit. Banks’ performance as the jumper’s negotiator is brilliant, seamlessly switching between the sympathetic shoulder-to-cry-on and the cynical cop throughout the film, until it emerges where her loyalties truly lie.
As far as police officer Mercer seems to have complete control of the situation (21 stories above Madison Avenue, New York City), Nick Cassidy is always a step ahead, with his own agenda being carried out for him just across the road by his brother, Joey (Bell) and his girlfriend, Angie (Rodriguez). The jumper stunt is serving as a very theatrical decoy for his brother’s shenanigans.
Overall, Man on a Ledge is well paced, full of action, and is backed up by an interesting and engaging plot. The film is packed with the suspense of whether or not Nick Cassidy will jump and carries a subtle social commentary. Society’s callous disregard for human life is highlighted in Man on a Ledge, as the onlookers in New York City jeer and call on Nick Cassidy to “jump already.”
Man on the ledge, more than what is says on the tin? Definitely, 7 out of 10.